I’ve had to get a little more creative this year as I’m struggling to get through the amount of plums laden on our trees this summer. There is only so much jam you can make (and give away)! To be honest, I usually prefer something savoury: a bit of bite, a kick of passion and a little bit of something to tickle those taste buds…. And of course, if it goes with cheese….. well that’s just perfect isn’t it?!
Black Doris plums are black to dark purple in colour, firmly fleshed and their flavour is broodingly intense and sweet compared to other varieties of plum. They make the best jam, and (hopefully) the best chutney…..but if you have another plum at hand, go for it. If you want to achieve a little more depth of colour and flavour, you could also try adding 1-2 tablespoons of pure tamarind concentrate (the deseeded variety).
Spicy Black Doris & ginger chutney (makes 6 – 7 x 500ml jars, depending on consistency)
2kg Black Doris plums, washed
6 small or 4 medium red onions, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
50g knob of ginger, peeled (with a spoon is easiest)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 Cups sultanas
1.5 – 2 Cups soft brown sugar
125ml spiced vinegar
125ml cider vinegar
3 heaped tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
Cracked black pepper to taste
1. Begin by removing the pits from the plums. The fastest way is to cut down the side of the pit, slicing wedges of flesh off the pit as you go. From each plum, you should get 5 – 6 pieces. Set aside.
2. Warm a large pot over a low to medium heat (without oil) and saute the onions with the garlic and ginger until softened.
3. Add the plum segments, cinnamon stick, chilli flakes & sultanas.
4. Continue to cook the chutney until the plums are softened and the sultanas look plump.
5. Next, combine the brown sugar, vinegars, curry powder & ground coriander in a bowl. Add to the pot with the plums.
6. Cook the chutney until the plums start to fall apart and the liquid looks syrupy in consistency. Season with salt and cracked pepper.
To test if the chutney is at the required consistency, ladle a teaspoon of mixture onto a saucer and allow to cool. If the chutney is a watery consistency you may need to continue to cook the mixture further and evaporate extra liquid. If it is nice and syrupy with a gooey spreading consistency and a rich bold flavour, you are ready to start bottling!
To bottle the chutney, make sure you have sterilised jars with well fitting lids.
An easy way to sterilise jars is to boil a large pot of water and immerse the jars and lids in it for about 5 minutes (making sure you fill the jars with the boiling water). Remove jars with clean tongs, ensuring you do not touch the inside. Watch that you do not burn yourself. Drain of water and fill right to the top with the hot chutney using a sterilised ladle. Seal with the clean lid. The jars will make a popping noise when the seal is officially formed. Label and date.